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Other Routes to Moksha

The Self Is Not an Object, Everyone Knows Objects but No One Knows the Subject, Vedanta Is Not a Philosophy, It Is Not a Religion or a Spiritual Path, It Is Not Channeled Information, It Is Revealed Knowledge, It Is Knowledge of Everything, What Is Knowledge? How Does Vedanta Work? You Can’t Study Vedanta, Listening, Reflecting, Assimilation.

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Other Routes to Moksha

Postby Hands Typing » Fri Jul 08, 2016 8:47 pm

I was just thinking about how the vast majority of the world's citizens may not ever have the opportunity of crossing paths with Vedanta, yet they may be honest, pure people that live life dharmically just out of their own nature.

Other than Vedanta, what other ways could anyone "attain" moksha?
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Re: Other Routes to Moksha

Postby Mira » Sat Jul 09, 2016 8:39 am

Hi Hands Typing,
Welcome to the forum, it's good to have you here.
Your question is an interesting one and one that I have thought about.

As you say, there are many good, honest people who follow dharma and live their lives with gratitude. I know many of these people in my family and friends.
I also find that as one gets older, one gets 'wiser'. People become more accepting of life's circumstances when they realize that they cannot control the results of their actions. So good, honest people that live dharmic lives seem to have a natural karma-yoga-type wisdom that they follow (even though they don't call it that, of course!).
However, I don't believe that these good people can achieve moksha. Ultimately, they still believe in a dualistic world and they believe that they are limited and separate which results in suffering (albeit subtle).

So karma-yoga without Jnana yoga cannot lead to moksha. Interestingly, I don't believe Jnana yoga without karma-yoga can lead to moksha either!

Only Vedanta and similar teachings can lead to moksha because they reveal your true nature as whole, eternal, limitless consciousness and they reveal the cosmology of manifestation (Self, Ishwara, Jiva, Jagat and Satya/Mithya). Both of these are necessary for moksha, I find.

I came to Vedanta via the neo-advaita route and while those 'teachings' do reveal the self--it is very hard to achieve moksha because the jiva is still intact with all it's binding vasanas. They don't tell you about Ishwara, Karma-yoga, Bhakti and sadhanas which are critical to assimilate the teachings.

Still, if you are very qualified (i.e., sattvic mind, long-term meditator, low vasana load), then I think you can achieve moksha when the self is revealed by neo-style teachings.

Some people also have epiphanies (e.g., Eckhart Tolle) and if they are able to assimilate and integrate the epiphany then they can get moksha (perhaps).

Finally, I think that religion also has it's place. I don't know much about Buddhism, but I'll bet there are some enlightened monks. They have a sattvic lifestyle and when the self is revealed (via their scriptures or an enlightened teacher), then they can perhaps assimilate it due to their monastic lifestyles and traditions. I saw the Dalai Lama recently and it was evident to me that he had moksha!

Bhakti (devotion/worship), which is such an important part of all traditional religions, tends to be dualistic and therefore, it may be hard to get mosksha via bhakti only. But there are stories of saints (eg., Mirabai--my personal favorite :D) for whom the world did not matter and they spent much of their time in a bhakti-induced trance. But if it is revealed to the devotee that the powerful love you have--is actually for yourself, then moksha might be possible. There are Christian saints too who might have achieved moksha via this route.

Yoga was also developed as a path to moksha but due to the experiential emphasis, I am not sure that it would lead to moksha by itself. You would constantly be chasing the 'experience' of the self and not realize that it is you all the time.

So, in conclusion, it seems to me that Vedanta is the only complete teaching that can result in self-knowledge, self-assimilation and moksha for a regular (non-monastic) jiva.

As an aside, I also wanted to point out that having a desire for moskha is very important. As I said, I know many people who are good, compassionate, dharmic people and they have zero interest in spirituality. I've tried to start conversations with them and I can see them tuning out almost immediately :lol:.

Finally, remember moksha is only for the jiva. The self is never affected. So whether the masses achieve moksha or not, ultimately does not matter. That is why, I find the concepts of "A new earth" or an "evolved, enlightened sphere of beings" (that are so widespread in the neo-spiritual circles) so silly.

Thanks for a great first post! Would love to hear your thoughts!
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Re: Other Routes to Moksha

Postby georgschiller » Sun Jul 10, 2016 6:22 pm

Hi Hand-Typing,

good question.

Of course, if you want to know if there are other paths to Moksha, the first requirement is to define Moksha.

If you define Moksha as the end of suffering, dis-associating from the body-mind, accepting life as it is, understanding reality as nondual, etc. then yes, I would say that many different paths can lead to the end of suffering, dis-associating from the body-mind,etc.

But to be more precise, what exactly do different paths lead to and how could we possibly compare the insights and impacts?
Do they have the same realization?
Same feelings?
And, a trickier point. What ideological stance is someone taking when they make the same/different pronouncements? They would need to stand someplace completely outside of Vedanta and Buddhism in order to do the comparison. But as they would have to stand somewhere, as opposed to having a God's-eye view, then their comparison is still dependent upon their own stance at that time.

In the end there is really no objective way of comparing different paths.
In the end it is really more like comparing two different languages, e.g. German versus English.
What is the better language?
But what do you mean by German? Do you mean Bavarian German? Or Saxon-German? And what do you mean by Bavarian-German? Do you mean Higher-Franconian-Bavarian-German? or lower-franc... ad-finitum...

In the end it is a subjective issue. It is also an issue of energetics, which teaching do you feel more drawn to? And don't forget the teacher, every teacher somehow - if only on a subtle level - teaches the (Vedanta/Buddhist/...) material differently..
Which culture of the teaching do you find more appealing?
Do you have a competent teacher you can trust and follow?
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Re: Other Routes to Moksha

Postby JamesRam » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:54 pm

Hi Hands Typing,

nice to have you here on the forum! Do you mind telling us your real name?

Your question is a really good one!

I love to respond to you but do you mind first telling me what you mean by 'path' and by 'moksha' ?

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Re: Other Routes to Moksha

Postby Hands Typing » Sat Jul 16, 2016 9:43 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for the replies. Sorry for my late response.


This is Ian (Walker, Jiva).

By a path I mean just any jiva's life events. For example for me, although it's just a story in the present, there seems to be a path that led me to Vedanta. Whereas for others (like most people I know), they've never heard of Vedanta.

By "moksha" I just mean my mind's constant conviction that I am the Self, not the gross body, subtle body, and causal body.

My mind seems to understand that I am the Self and everything else is known to the Self. Also, that everything is the Self, but I'm not everything. But my mind also seems to forget this.

At least my mind has got to this point, but so many people don't know anything about any of this and are just identified with their bodies.

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Re: Other Routes to Moksha

Postby Arlindo Nagar » Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:03 pm

Hi everyone, hi Ian. This is a question I am often faced with during my Seminars. I think that people often ask me this because of my enthusiasm for Vedanta. They may think that I over exaggerate when I tell that there is nothing like Vedanta to produce Moksha. Some people may even see me as a fanatic.

They often want to argue that there are many “paths” to Moksha, and that Vedanta is only one among many. But in truth, only by Knowledge the Self can be "known" and realized, and that alone excludes most of all others so called action-based “paths” as a mean for liberation. Most of the paths are what we call; “a leading error” - they will keep you moving in zig-zags. Others will serve only to prepare the mind for self-inquiry - we call them an indirect mean to self-knowledge.

But the point to be made is that once you know Vedanta, you got to know the most sophisticated, complete and efficient teaching methodology there is. Off course people from other traditions, or even from no-tradition, may gain liberation - Ramana Maharshi being a good example. But it is very rare.

I like the following analogy; if you want to travel from Seattle to Portland you have the option to go by foot, riding a bicycle, driving an old car, or a modern German SUV. Vedanta is the German SUV; the best vehicle of knowledge to reveal Jiva’s true nature as Awareness.

It is also Important to emphasize that Janna Yoga is the yoga of knowledge, and that Vedanta is the “perfect” Janna yoga, and that most forms of Janna yoga presented by neo-teachers cannot be called Vedanta because, in most cases, they are only fragments of Vedanta, and often presented in an action-experience language which causes much confusion and delay.

As far as the reason why Vedanta comes to some and not others… it is all up to Isvara and the karmic laws by which It governs the Dharma field. Merit or maturity is usually the pre-requisite before Vedanta begins making sense to people. Rare are the individuals attracted to Vedanta, and even rarer are the ones contemplating and applying the teachings.
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Re: Other Routes to Moksha

Postby JamesRam » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:05 pm

We don't think Vedanta is superior simply because it is not a path.

It is the knowledge that ends the search for knowledge

Paths imply a destination but you are already the destination!

There is no gap between you and your self, existence/consciousness

Vedanta is not a path, it is a means of knowledge to erase the apparent gap between you and your self.

Vedanta is no longer necessary once the apparent gap has been erased.

p.s. Good posts Arlindo!
Last edited by JamesRam on Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Other Routes to Moksha

Postby Ian W. » Mon Jul 25, 2016 5:48 am

Dear Arlindo,

It's interesting that you have wanted to tell people about Vedanta. I've been into it for a few years now and not a single family member or friend knows (as far as I know). It's like a totally valuable personal object that I don't want anyone to touch or even know about except for those that are already into it or who I can trust deeply with it. Unlike other things I've gotten into, it seems to protect itself. If I was totally into cars, people would be asking me about cars. If I was totally into Jesus, people would be asking me why I'm going to church all of a sudden. I just keep to myself and immerse Jiva in vedanta as much as possible. Once in awhile I might quote a Vedanta swami on Facebook or something, but that's about it.

Dear James,

Thank you for the reply. Thank you for all of your videos, books, commentaries, and responses.


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